Gudi Padwa Set To Send Ripples Across Mumbai

By Sayali Karade

Today, the city awakens to the vibrant celebrations of Gudi Padwa, the Marathi New Year, setting the streets ablaze with fervour and festivity. As the sun rises on the first day of the Chaitra month, the city transforms into a spectacle of cultural richness and ancient tradition.

Derived from the sacred words 'gudi' symbolising Lord Brahma's flag and 'padwa' representing the first lunar phase, Gudi Padwa is a mosaic of ancient rituals and mythological significance. Across every corner, gudis rise tall, adorned with colourful cloths, garlands of candy wafers, and gleaming metal pots, heralding the dawn of a new era.

Gudi Padwa celebrations in Mumbai
Legend has it that on this auspicious day, Lord Brahma bestowed upon us the gift of time, marking the creation of the universe itself. Stories of victory echo through the ages, like that of King Shalivahana, whose triumphant return in 78 AD ushered in the Shalivahana Shakha calendar, immortalising the spirit of resilience and triumph. But Gudi Padwa is more than just a celebration; it's a testament to unity and heritage. 

From ritual baths to bitter-sweet prasad, the day is a sensory feast, tantalising taste buds with the flavours of tradition. And, as the day unfolds, the city comes alive with cultural processions, where Maharashtrian attire dances to the rhythm of traditional music, echoing through the streets of Girgaum, Vile Parle, and Dadar.

In Vile Parle, the fervour reaches its peak as yatras cascade down Hanuman Road, culminating in a crescendo of devotion at the Parleshwar temple. This year, the festivities witness an extraordinary spectacle as renowned sportspersons and cultural icons join the procession, infusing the air with electrifying energy.

Meanwhile, in Thane, the Kaupineshwar Sanskruti Nyas orchestrates a symphony of cultural events, igniting the senses with rangoli, dance, theatre, and art exhibitions, casting a spell of enchantment over the city.

But the pinnacle of excitement awaits in Girgaum, where the streets become the battleground for an epic reenactment of Lord Ram's timeless battle against Ravan. With each clash, the thunderous beats of dhol-tasha drums resonate, while the towering figure of Hanuman brandishes a towering gudi, symbolizing victory and glory.

As the day unfolds, communities across the city unite in celebration, from the Sindhi Cheti Chand Mela to the Kannadigas and Telugus observing Ugadi, and the Kashmiris embracing Navreh. Temples adorned with flowers and lights herald the nine days of Chaitra Navratra, symbolising renewal and devotion.

Indeed, the spirit of Gudi Padwa transcends time, weaving together culture, tradition, and resilience, uniting the city in a kaleidoscope of colours and celebration.

Amidst the jubilant festivities, the Swami Vivekanand Yuva Pratishthan (SVYP) orchestrates a grand procession in Girgaum, marking the 22nd year of this spectacular event. With the theme "Shivrajya Hech Ramrajya," honouring the 350th year of Chhatrapati Shivaji's coronation and the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the procession promises a mesmerising blend of culture and history.

As per the Swami Vivekananda Yuva Pratishthan, the procession will commence at 8 am from the Fadkewadi Ganapati Mandir in Girgaon. The highlight of the procession will be the magnificent 22-foot-tall Maharudra Hanumanta, crafted by sculptor Yogesh Iswalkar. Leading the march will be a splendid idol of Lord Ganesha, sculpted by artist Pradeep Maduskar.

The focal point of the yatra will be Swami Vivekananda Yuva Pratishthan's portrayal of 'Shiva Rajya,' which pays homage to Lord Ramlalla and commemorates the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Noteworthy attractions include the grand depiction of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation, created by sculptor Santosh Kambli, and the portrayal of Chhatrapati Shiv Raya, crafted by renowned art director Tushar Koli.

Draped in traditional saris and turbans, women lead a majestic bike rally, capturing the essence of Maharashtra's rich heritage. Ganpati and Navratra mandals add to the spectacle with skits and musical performances, resonating with the echoes of bygone eras.

As the city basks in the glory of Gudi Padwa, it's not just a celebration; it's a testament to the resilience, unity, and spirit of a community united in its culture. From the thunderous beats of the dhol-tasha to the aromatic flavours of puran polis, each moment is a vibrant symphony, echoing through the annals of time, promising hope, prosperity, and a brighter tomorrow.

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